Backtracking . . .

Another tip for getting a rough draft down faster is to go back and change your path when you start to feel like you don’t love what you’re writing. In my earlier years I would plod along even if I was slowed by the feeling that my story wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be. With age and experience I learned to avoid those periods of sluggish writing by stopping when I feel like I hate my sentences and paragraphs. I learned to backtrack.

Now as soon as I get that “crappy writing” sensation, I stop and look at the sentence I’m composing. Don’t like it? Erase it. The sentence before? Good? No? Delete that one too. I go all the way back to the last great sentence (or really right sentence) that I wrote and start again from there.

In the old days I might have tried to rewrite those sentences, instead of erasing them, but then I would end up with better written crap. The world does not need better written crap. So now I clear them out so I can see the way more clearly. My last great sentence reminds me of what the next sentence should be like.

(Again this may be a quirky thing that only works for me, but, like I’ve said, life’s too short to be shy. I’ll share my tips, weird or reasonable, because you never know.)

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